Plummer Park, the Place That Witnessed Latino History and the Struggle for LGBTQ+ Rights

 | June 6, 2022

Image courtesy of Nuestro Stories.

In Los Angeles, California, there are many historic places that preserve the history of the LGBTQ community. The Women’s Building, Jewel’s Catch One, The Black Cat Tavern, Plummer Park, and Great Hall are just a few of them.

The Great Hall — also known as Long Hall — located in Plummer Park was where the ACT UP movement held meetings and planned boycotts to end discrimination against HIV-positive people.

Plummer Park Hall
Image courtesy of

Where Latino culture and LGBTQ+ rights meet

Plummer Park was born as Rancho La Brea in 1828. Jose Antonio Rocha and Nemesio Dominguez owned it until 1877 when the Plummer family purchased it.

At that time, Plummer Ranch comprised 160 acres between Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards and La Brea and Gardner Avenues.

For the first few years, John Plumer, his wife Maria Amparo, and their three children, John, Eugene, and Frances, would have only the company of bandits, cactus, and rattlesnakes, making them the only inhabitants from Hollywood to the Plaza District.

In the 1920s, the only family member living on the land was Eugene, who sold part of the land to relieve debts.

In 1935 Plummer Park was declared a historic landmark, and in 1937 the county purchased the remainder of the Plummer property. A year later, construction began on Great Hall/Long Hall, a recreation center that would include a library and reading room.

Eugene and the County of Los Angeles reached an agreement to continue living in the park for the rest of his life. Eugenio died in 1943 at the age of 91.

Plummer Park’s Spanish Colonial-style design remains intact, as does its link to the region’s great Mexican-era ranchos history.

The epicenter of a revolution

Plummer Park ACT UP
Image courtesy of ONE Archives.

During the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, Great Hall/Long Hall in Plummer Park was the site of meetings to discuss the health care system for those infected with the virus. 

Great Hall/Long Hall was the site of meetings to discuss the health care system for people infected with the virus.

In March 1987, the international advocacy group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, better known by its acronym ACT UP, was formed in New York. The organization’s slogan was a blunt response to the (non-existent) actions being taken on the disease: “Silence = Death.”

In December 1987, the Los Angeles ACT UP group chose Plummer Park because of its proximity and availability to accommodate the large LGBTQ community. They met at Great Hall/Long Hall from 1987 to 1996. They organized numerous campaigns, such as candlelight vigils and “die-ins” in Westwood Village. Through the work mainly done here and elsewhere in the country, the group was instrumental in helping to spur the federal government’s early response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Fun facts

  • Frances Plummer, one of John Plummer’s daughters, befriended the town’s Mexicans and acted as their court interpreter. 
  • The city of West Hollywood has proposed demolishing the historic structures to redesign the park
  • The Great Hall/Long Hall was nominated in 2013 to be recognized as a landmark in LGBTQ history but was not approved.

Location: Los Angeles

Address: 1200 N Vista St, West Hollywood

Google 360 View: Visit this iconic place here.

Recomended for you

1 2 3 48

© Copyright 2024 | Nuestro Stories | All Rights Reserved

| Privacy Policy